News / Africa

Rights Groups Challenge Kenyan Remark on Displaced People

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, centre, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, left, stands with Gen Julius Waweru Karangi, right, Chief of the Defence Forces, as they watch the passing out parade and fly over by the Kenyan Air Force, Oct. 20, 2013.
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, centre, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, left, stands with Gen Julius Waweru Karangi, right, Chief of the Defence Forces, as they watch the passing out parade and fly over by the Kenyan Air Force, Oct. 20, 2013.
Gabe Joselow
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said all people displaced by post-election violence in 2007 and 2008 have been resettled.  Rights groups say that is untrue and accuse the president of trying to paper over the crimes for which he is facing charges at the International Criminal Court.  

It was a passing remark, delivered Sunday toward the end of a speech marking Kenya’s Mashujaa Day - a holiday honoring the heroes of independence.
President Kenyatta was describing how his administration was committed to moving beyond a “dark, backward and dangerous past” in which Kenya was torn apart by ethnic violence.

“We have already made important strides in this regard, through equitable appointments in the Cabinet and public service. We have also resettled all internally displaced persons and are doing all we can to allow them to integrate back into society,” he said.

Kenyatta was referring, in part, to more than 500,000 people who were displaced during the inter-ethnic fighting that followed the disputed presidential election in 2007. He and his deputy, William Ruto, are facing separate trials at the ICC for their alleged roles orchestrating the violence, which killed more than 1,100 people.
But rights groups say despite Mr. Kenyatta’s claim, thousands are still living in camps for internally displaced people.

Keffa Karuoya is the program officer with the Internal Displacement Policy and Advocacy Center in Kenya. “We had a meeting just about two weeks ago with all the leadership of the IDPs in the remaining camps. There were about 46 camps, and each camp was ranging between 50 and 100-plus,” Karuoya said.

The Kenyatta administration had previously announced an initiative to resettle all remaining internally displaced people by September 20. Families were to receive cash payments worth $4,700 (400,000 Kenyan Shillings) to help them find new homes.

Nick Omitto, chief executive officer of the Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Eldoret, Kenya, says the program has been ineffective and that thousands of people are still displaced.

He suspects Kenyatta’s remarks are part of an agenda to “hoodwink” the ICC into thinking the victims of the violence have been compensated.

“It’s creating an image to tell the world the country is at peace and there are no political IDPs on the streets and the post election violence of 2007 has settled - the dust has settled - but I believe that that’s not the true picture,” Omitto stated.

President Kenyatta is due to attend his trial at the ICC court in The Hague November 12.

Trial chamber judges ruled Friday the Kenyan president would not have to attend all of the proceedings in person, but his presence is required for the opening and closing statements of all parties and when victims testify.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More